1991 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL

Hard to believe the newest W126 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is over 30 years-old now. Hard to say these aged great as it is pretty clear these were a product of the 1980s, but in terms of quality, tough to argue. You won’t find much that is falling off these cars unless you find a 500,000-mile example, which there are many, and they have no real signs of inevitable decay like some much newer models. As long as you treat them well, they will return the favor and be happy to do so. The pinnacle of the chassis, the 560SEL, still to this day brings crazy money when the miles are right. Today’s example, a 1991 up for sale in Phoenix, has some miles, but the price seems to be relatively reasonable for the condition.

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1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL

In my modest collection, my oldest car is 1980 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. I don’t drive it much at all, a few hundred miles a year at most, but I can’t seem to let it go. Just this past Sunday I gave it a really deep wash and applied a coat of wax on it for the upcoming winter, and then thought there is no way I am selling this car after I was all done with it. It is literally the definition of “They don’t make them like they used to” in terms of Mercedes-Benz products. The car will be 40 years old soon, but it still drives and functions like a 4 year-old car despite over 225,000 miles on it. The flaws of the chassis are few, with the biggest one being a climate system they outsourced from Chrysler, of all brands, which turned out to be total garbage. Imagine that!

Today’s car, 1980 405SEL up for sale in California, seems to have a bit of an identity crisis. At first I thought it was a Euro car as it has the Euro headlights, bumpers, and plate holders, but peeking inside I’m seeing a speedometer in MPH and the aforementioned garbage automatic climate control. What is going on here?

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1991 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL

Fresh off the 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL from a few weeks ago, luck would have it that another nice W126 comes up in a less than common color of Pearl Blue Metallic. This one is in V8 guise with the 4.2-liter of the aptly named 420SEL. Much like the 300SEL, it is a whole lot of everything you need and really nothing you don’t. One of the things that bugged me about the W126 is that heated seats was only offered on the top of the range 560SEL, but seems a little petty for Mercedes to do considering what the S-Class was at the time, but I guess that was the reality of fancy options in the late 1980s. This example from California checks in with a fair 142,000 miles, so not exactly a low mileage example that will burn a bunch of value if you drive it. What’s not to like?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL on eBay

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1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL

Some will argue that the W126 S-Class was one of the finest automobiles ever produced. At the end of the day, it does everything well, and doesn’t complain about it. It has everything you need, but nothing more. The styling is handsome, but can blend into a crowd with ease. Running costs? Outside of a hydraulic rear suspension that is well worth the trouble, it can be fixed by the most average of mechanics. Time has been kind to the W126, and prices reflect that. Finding a nice one under $10,000 is a tough ask, and the nicest 560SELs with low miles will put you into new Honda Accord prices.

Today, we travel to Belgium to look at a European-spec 1989 560SEL that has some miles on it, but taking a look at the condition, you’d swear it has a quarter of that. Worth the asking price?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL at British & Sportscars

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1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SL

Last week I took at a look at a Mercedes-Benz E350 in a very interesting color that drew an above average reaction in the comment section. Personally, I wasn’t a fan of the shade, but some enjoyed it and at the end of the day, I’m just glad they still offer some crazy colors. Today, I wanted to take a look at another Mercedes-Benz in a maybe not so popular color, but a lot easier to sallow.

This 1987 560SL is finished in Ivory, and that name pretty much nails it. It is an off-white, eggshell, beige, kind of color. Exciting? No. Understandable on a luxury convertible in 1987? Very much so.

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1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

Ever feel like you are having car déjà vu? If you are like me, it happens from time to time. A car that you recognize, but maybe can’t place it or isn’t sure if it was the same model. When I saw this car, a 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC, it took me about 30 seconds to remember the story on it. However, the story does not get any better.

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1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

Last week, I took a look at one of the nicest examples of a W140 Mercedes-Benz S-Class that I’ve seen in quite some time. In addition to it being extremely clean, it was also optioned with the cloth/velour interior. Like mentioned, that interior choice was actually a more expensive option, which in terms of the American market, seems counter-intuitive. As luck would have it, another top of the range S-Class popped up with a velour interior and this time its on US soil.

This 1988 560SEC up for sale in Portland, Oregon is a left-hand drive car built for the Japanese market which means it has all the European-spec goodies. Shorter bumpers, the proper headlights, and the wonderful patterned blue velour interior. Wait until you see it.

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1993 Mercedes-Benz 500GE

Be still, my beating heart. One of my favorite vehicles of all time in one of my favorite colors. This is a 1993 Mercedes-Benz 500GE. You are probably saying “500GE?”, and yes, that would be correct. Somehow Mercedes stuffed the M117 V8 into the engine bay of the G and drove Mercedes technicians insane. The 500GE is extremely rare, and believe it or not, was only offered in one color: Amethyst Blue Metallic. There is nothing really blue about it, this G is purple. It is a much darker purple than Bornite Metallic and that is totally fine with me because I love it. This example for sale up in The Netherlands comes in with 135,000 miles and looks like it has about half that. The price? About what you’d expect.

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1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL

Just when you thought you’ve seen it all. Well, this 1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL has it all. This W126 had a life of excess and has all the paperwork to prove it. The story goes the car was ordered as a grey market import by a private owner in Chicago with a boat load of options then immediately shipped to AMG for more special touches. Those “special touches” you see above aren’t the work of a 17 year-old who bought this car from a Buy-Here, Pay-Here lot and a couple cans of spray paint. No, that is the work of AMG. I’m sure they were scratching their heads a little when this work order came in, but when someone offers up $20,000 (in 1982 money, mind you), you do what they say. An AMG body kit was added, all the chrome was painted black, the wheels were replaced with Rial alloys, the interior needed more leather, and the engine gained roughly 50 horsepower for the small price of $11,000. Total cost for this entire car, modifications and all? $62,656. For those keeping score at home, that is $164,234 today. I hope this owner loved this car.

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1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

Don’t look now, but the Mercedes-Benz W126 coupe is surging fast in terms of value. A very nice 1991 560SEC painted in Bornite with less than 8,000 miles just sold at Amelia Island for $78,400. Yes, that car is an outlier because of its outstanding condition and rare color (plus some competitive bidders), but it sets an interesting example. For the past decade or so, $10,000 could buy you an average SEC. Not cheap in terms of old German luxury cars, but still reasonable for what it is. Now the big auction houses are touting the ”Youngtimers” from the 80s and 90s, and suddenly everyone is running to Craiglist to see what is out there. Are they suddenly going to be doubling or tripling in price like a 190E 2.3-16v? Probably not. However, find a worthwhile example and you can enjoy it maintaining its value for years to come. Today’s car, a 1990 560SEC painted in the rare Signal Red, seems to still priced competitively but I’m willing to bet that this one won’t last long at all.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC on eBay

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